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Crackdown in assaults on nurses in Scotland

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Nurses, midwives and doctors will be encouraged to report assaults under legal changes that come into effect from tomorrow.

The RCN has welcomed the changes to the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act 2005, which are aimed to make it easier to prosecute perpetrators of violence against Scotland’s nurses, whether they are working in the community or acute settings.

Previously the act only applied to these professions in response to emergency circumstances.

Norman Provan, Associate Director of Employment Relations, RCN Scotland, said: ‘75% of all nurse occupational injuries are violence-related. This is a shocking and unacceptable statistic.’

‘One attack on a nurse is one too many. All healthcare staff have the right to go about their work without fear of abuse. We will be continuing to work in partnership with politicians and NHS boards to help reduce violence and aggression, wherever it takes place,’ he said.

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